Ms Bentley was an Communist Party USA (CPUSA) member who was an active Soviet spy for most of a decade. Her story is perhaps a micro-version of the entire relationship between American Communism (aka progressivism) and the Soviet variety.
Many Americans joined the CPUSA and many spied for the Soviets. Many (if not all) also eventually broke with the Soviets. Obviously, these people were not all identical. They did not all come from the same background. However, when one reads their memoirs, one notices a lot of similarities. Ms Bentley is, in my opinion, the quintessential American Communist. In a way, her story is the story of them all and it’s laid out – in detail and in a matter of fact way – in this nearly forgotten book. Conservatives want you to remember Whittaker Chambers and progressives want you to remember Joseph McCarthy (if they want to remember anything at all). I would like you to remember Elizabeth Bentley.